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THORNS – 1. Thorns symbolize the Passion of Jesus. Thorns are used to represent the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head (Matthew 27:29) as a mockery of His being the King of the Jews. 2. Thorns represent grief and sin. This refers to the parable of the farmer who threw seed in different areas. The seeds that fell among the thorns grew quickly but were choked out by the thorns (Matthew 13:7).

TREE – 1. The tree in a poor, withered state symbo-lizes death. 2. The tree in a healthy and strong state symbolizes life. It is interesting that sin started with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 2:9) and will end with the Tree of Life in Heaven (Revelation 22:2).

VINES – 1. The vine represents Jesus and is a symbol that dates back to the first century. It shows the relationship of God and His people as related in John 15:5. 2. The vineyard represents the church being cared for by God (Isaiah 5:7). This is especially true when the vine is covered with shields upon which the symbols of the apostles are engraved. 3. The vine, because of its fluid shape, was frequently used by artists to simply fill empty space in art and architecture. In this context it has no meaning.

VIOLET – 1. The violet, a small, lowly flower, is symbolic of humility. 2. The violet symbolizes Jesus, the very Son of God, who humbled Himself and made Himself of no reputation by becoming a man. 3. The violet symbolizes the Virgin Mary because she humbly


accepted her calling to give birth to the Son of God. 4. It symbolizes humility because it often grows under larger plants, hedges and logs.

WHEAT (Grain) – 1. Wheat symbolizes the Lord’s Supper (Eucharist). The ears of wheat (body) are shown beside a bunch of grapes (blood) as a two-part symbol of the Lord’s Supper (Eucharist). 2. The wheat suggests the human nature of Jesus. 3. If the wheat is shown with tares it is a symbol of Christians and non-Christians in the church. This is based on Matthew 13:24-30.

WILLOW – The willow symbolizes the gospel message of Jesus because it can be heavily trimmed and pruned but it keeps right on growing. In like manner, the Word of God, no matter how suppressed, continues to re-emerge and spread.

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© 2016 By Doug Gray. All Rights Reserved.